sem #3

Happy Monday!

Hope your week is off to a great start. Here it’s still cold, but at least we’re starting to get some days without the persistent inversion-fog that has been hanging around for what feels like most of 2020. Here’s a shot from a recent walk I took:

Living way the hell out in the middle of nowhere has its perks, like this view…

Anyway, on to the reason you bothered to read my email: SEO and Domains!

In This Issue:

  • Content I loved (and also wrote that you should read)

  • Update on that accidental SEO experiment

  • Domains at auction that you want to buy

Content I Loved

First Up, an article I wrote on Featured Snippets at Smash Digital.

Second: a really great video tutorial about refreshing stale content by John-Henry Scherck (a really smart SEO that I respect a lot).

Finally, VERY relevant to people who read this newsletter, John Mu talking about how Google handles site merges:

Google's John Mueller said that when you merge two sites together, the domain you are getting rid of and not using anymore will take time to go away in Google's search results. When you do a site move, like moving to a new domain but it's the same content, URLs, etc, then that is much faster.

Definitely click through and look at all the tweets in the exchange. Very interesting.

Update on SEO Experiment

Just a quick update (and unrelated to any recent algorithm shenanigans in my opinion, but one never knows), the site I undid the redirect of after 5 months of being acquired by another site—check out last week’s newsletter for more background—is doing well!

Not bad!

Here’s a view of the increasing keyword activity via Ahrefs:

Like I said in the last newsletter—nothing sketchy here, just undoing the redirect because the site I redirected this site too turned about to be a bit TOO toxic in a past life, despite disavowing links and etc.

Domains With Authority

Remember to do your own due diligence before buying, because I am not responsible for any bad/quick decisions you make. I didn’t dig deeply into any of these past making sure they were indexed and had a good link profile. All else is on you! - ends 2/12

A DR 47 domain with a lot of “general” relevance. Ranking for things like "festivals around the world" and "rarest item in the world.” Will go for high 3/low 4 figures (like 1,000-ish) but you shouldn’t pay much more than that unless you have a CONCRETE use for the site, as it’s extremely broad, and the backlink profile isn’t that impressive. Would be a great domain to test things with, if you can get it for cheap enough. - ends 2/12

A tech-focused DR 55 with a lot of really big backlinks might have you itching to bid, but the value here is balanced by the fact that the domain is not currently indexed in Google. Not an amazing buy for the domain/brand along. Currently at high 3 figures, I’d caution you on spending too much on a domain that’s not indexed, as it’s more of a risk as to whether or not it will pass all that much juice to one of your sites (or in and of itself, if you build something on it—you might just be starting at 0 despite what SEO tools say). - ends 2/17

DR 55 news site with some strong backlinks (WAPO, MIT, VOX, SFGate, etc) and indexed. Currently ranking for a few worthless keywords, but the presence of those keywords is a good sign. < 500k Ahrefs ranking means the backlink profile is big and strong, like all those milk ads from the 90s promised you’d be if you just drank a big ole glass of cow juice every morning:

A good pick-up if you’re going to invest the time into building out your very own News Site, because then you can just link out to anything you want (as long as you really invest in building out the site with a lot of legitimate, non-commercial, not-for-placing-links-only content.

Got dinged via Medic Update, it looks like, but it was probably just ranking for a bunch of shit it shouldn’t have been, so I would assume (having done ZERO research in that it’s not a risky acquisition for a build out as long as you don’t make it into a medical-themed site. - ends 2/14

University, not Musk.

I guess this is a university-specific news publication called The Pendulum. Not a big use-case for building a brand on, but I never know what someone else might find valuable, so, here you go! Currently at $500, so I guess SOMEone has a use case for it… - ends 2/13

DR 48 health/finance relevancy site, should be in demand. Ranking for a few brand-related KWs, which is a good sign, like I said above. All kinds of big, sexy links (Springer, ThinkProgress, MotherJones,, TheFiscalTimes, NonprofitQuarterly) — just keep in mind that is a live site and will probably not appreciate you using old content, so be careful how you treat any builds of this one.

But there’s a lot of value in this one if you can find a way around the “Fierce” part of the brand (which, honestly, I’d be concerned to try and build a lasting brand on). - ends 2/13

Hmm, really interesting opportunity here.

DR 49 site ranking for hundreds of long tail keywords. Site used to be a WiFi Watchdog app, helping you find the best WiFi spots when you traveled. It also had a blog full of commonly asked question. Here’s a shot at what kind of stuff is ranking:

I could see a really slick rebuild of this site, with all its long tail articles that funneled people back to router or other tech review pages. So you don’t compete on the “Best X” product keyword, but funnel semi-ish interested traffic throughout your articles. Not quite as valuable as if people came to your site searching for “Best X” but also not as competitive. I don’t even know what kind of stuff you could sell… 4G hotspot devices? CPAs for Sprint or something?

Opportunity for someone with some hustle to grab this and get a site up ASAP to start capturing traffic… - ends 2/17

Used to write about tech stuff (javascript or something blah blah) a million years ago in 2008-ish. Probably been offline for a while, I didn’t check, but you should ( Has some big juicy tech links (, ThemeForest,, Moz, SmashingMagazine) but could be a bit of a risky acquisition given how stale the site probably is.

A good acquisition if you don’t have to spend too much on it (currently $12) as whether it does all that much for you remains to be seen… - ends TODAY! NOW!!

DR 66 with big tech/coding links (CNN, CNet, Wired,, Oreilly,

At $1.5k at the time of writing, but will definitely go for more because of that link profile. Due your due diligence before bidding! - ends 2/14

WHO = World Health Organization.

DR 54, strong medical and India-related link profile. A good pick-up if you need to juice one of your other sites. Probably a terrible brand to build any kind of site on…

Domain to Build a Brand On

Nothing really here this week. GoDaddy’s NameCon auction really muddied the waters, and made finding domains that were valuable brands but NOT at auction with a reserve hard to find. Annoying. But… I’ll look again next week!


That’s it for issue 3. Happy to hear any feedback/thoughts/etc. you have. Thanks to everyone who responded last week re: done-for-you service interest or possible consulting interest. Still chewing on it all.

Have a great week!

- Sean